About Me

My photo
What do you really want out of life? Now what's stopping you?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Looking Back

Spent some time this week going over my previous diatribe. It was an interesting experience, to see what I was writing about a year ago and to compare it to today. My past dialogue through my fingers and onto the screen may not have a lot of significance to others, but it does to me. I never realised the importance of journaling until about 3 years ago when I began in to apply thoughts to paper. It has helped me to identify thoughts and patterns in my life and to give a focus to things. While many entries into my journal have found their way onto this site, many haven’t, sorry but there are some things that are not public domain.

What have I gained from this reflection over past posts? For one, I have realised that I love writing. I never dreamed that I would be able to scribble down so much and for so long. I felt a sense of satisfaction looking over my achievement-something that as humans we often do not indulge in. We tend to gloss over success and hurry onto the next thing in our lives, or worse still, we pass the credit onto someone else (Christians are bad at this-‘it was just God hey, not me, never me, I have no skill…you know the usual junk.) There is nothing wrong in accepting credit where credit is due-if you run a hundred metre race and win, it was your legs not God’s! Ok let’s move on before I get bogged down in that pet peeve. I was challenged to think of the future, that maybe I could improve a couple of things in my writing and layout, and that maybe one day these posts could become the focus for a book. That covers the past, present and upcoming periods of time, I think.

Oh, one more thing, my favourite posts- The Rain Dance and the one on Oppression prior to this, both strike an emotional chord in me long after writing.

Have a brilliant weekend.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Systems of Oppression

This post may be a bit deep compared to my usual ones, but it is an issue that I have been wrestling with lately, both on an individual and national level.

‘Make a plan’ is the Zimbabwean catch phrase. It refers to the ability of people to get an end result despite the circumstances and is a testimony to the ingenuity of a people. It has one draw back; it fails to address the root cause of issues. We pull a proverbial rug over the hole in the carpet rather than repairing the defect. Zimbabweans in general seem to be more concerned with making plans than dealing with the core issues of governance and policy. Governance in this respect does not just refer to a political system, but incorporates the ideas of self-governance and corporate governance.

History is filled with examples of nations that have thrown off the yolk of an oppressive system only to accept another. African dictators abounded following the independence from colonialism. One of the issues that resulted in the American civil war was the perpetuance of oppression in the form of slavery. Even today the legacy of that oppression continues in the lives of many African-Americans. There were multiple French Revolutions, the Russian revolution overthrew the Tsar but replaced it with an even more oppressive system of communism. Why this trend? I believe one of the reasons is a lack of self governance by the individual. When all your life the responsibility of governance has rested with the state and that is the source of your self control, you are ill equipped to handle the liberty that occurs when that control is removed. Eventually, unless self-control is achieved the state (which often begins by promoting self governance) will begin to take over control again. Tyranny occurs when the individual abdicates the responsibility of self-governance to the state or any other system or persons.

This is not an affectation of the modern and post-modern eras either. Biblical Israel rarely went for more than a generation under righteous rule before resorting to evil and despotic rule. The Ten Commandments are there to promote self governance and a respect for God, other men and property. Part of the recent price escalation in Zimbabwe and the subsequent intervention by the government has been due to unfettered profiteering-again, it is not the only cause, but it has played a role non-the-less.

Oppression is not limited to national governance only. People can be oppressed when they are bound to companies that assume responsibility for the provision and welfare of their employees. When your house, car and education are provided by your company and you expect it as a ‘right’ as an employee, you are bound to that company. When you expect ‘free’ healthcare from your state, are you not bound and oppressed by the taxes you pay and the level of care you recieve-you have given away responsibility for your health to a system. Robert Kiyosaki has expounded frequently on the mindset behind the employee and the difference of that of the businessman or investor. Often the former operating in an environment of oppression will never experience true financial freedom.

Why does this happen? Part is ignorance, people know no better. When you have been governed by one system all your life, you only know one way to treat others, and only one legacy to pass on to your children. Part is that self control requires effort, an effort that many are not willing to expend. It is easier to be ‘thunk’ upon than to think, and in the short term hurts less. Continued oppression removes self value and worth. When you have no value then you will not stand up against anything that infringes on that value.

The solution? Well honestly I don’t have a complete one, but a significant part has to do with a change of attitude. Another common Zimbabwean phrase is “I am not the one”, this needs to be “I am the one.” In a similar manner to ‘ask not what America can do for you, but what you can do for America’, we need to assume responsibility for our actions and what we can change and control. With responsibility comes accountability, we should be accountable for what we have, and hold others to account for their actions and decisions. Rather than being passive lumps of humanity complaining at our raw deal in life, we need to become vibrant agents of change in the world around us, lifting others out the pit and building a better nation.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Injury Prevention

The concept of “Maximum potential” on which this site is founded includes physical health.

Any high level sportsperson can tell you about the frustration caused by an injury. Whether it be a minor muscle strain or a career threatening ligament rupture, the loss of time and ability as a result of an injury is a major blow. Much time and research has been spent on how to recover from an injury, but increasingly more and more effort has been spent on injury prevention. Most of the work in prevention takes place in the months and weeks preceding the event. Cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, strength, balance, and sport-specific skills training are all essential components of any training program. A balanced program will cater for the individual sportsperson, and include all the components listed above.

Much can be done on the day. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluid before, during and after a game. Dehydration results in decreased performance as well as placing muscles in a less than optimal functioning state. Keep warm, especially during half time. While the half-time break is often a well-appreciated rest, it can result in muscles ‘cooling down’ putting you at risk in the second half. Donning a tracksuit can help this. Learn to conserve physical and mental energy where not playing, especially if you have a number of matches on a single day. Rules are often designed for protection (e.g. lowering a player in a line-out in rugby, lifting the ball in hockey), stick to them. Talk to your team on the field; the stupid injuries are those caused by two players crashing as they chase after the same ball.

If, despite everything, you still find yourself injured seek appropriate first aid and further treatment. Many recurring injuries take place because of failure to treat the primary injury. A common example is lack of balance retraining following an ankle sprain.

Above all, do not let the fear in injury hamper you from doing well. Focus on playing well and injury free. Listen to inspirational music before your matches to raise your emotion and consequently your game. Have a blast and enjoy doing that which you are great at.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Loss if Innocence

It would appear that some of the wonder has left the world. The whole saga on Harry Potter spoiler sites trying to release information before the big day has brought it home to me. Leave a little surprise for the rest of us will you...help us to keep a little more mystery and suspense in the world for a little longer. Of course now you can hardly escape the storyline on the web, but with the warnings and a little thought it is possible to avoid the scraps of info until you have a real copy in your hands.

Pirated DVD's abound, even in Zimbabwe. You usually have to wait a bit(read months) to get a flick here in Zim, but DVD's are available in the flea markets within 2 weeks of the film being released overseas (some of the covers are pretty legit looking as well). Sad, and not good for the guys trying to make a living out of the film industry.

While I still believe that the availabilty of information on the web is a great thing (the pros far outway the cons) there has been a loss of some of the surprise factor in life. You can find the 'how to' on a magic trick with a little help from Google in no time. Watching a magician once you know the secret is a little like watching a candle burn after seeing a bonfire.

Let's strive to keep a little bit of wonder in the world.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Lost Art of Butter Rolling

Butter rolling??!!! For those not in the restaurant industry, this refers to the ability to roll butter into the cute little balls that you are served with when frequenting certain establishments. Now I'm sure someone has a machine to do it automatically, but we get to do it manually with two paddles of wood. The trick is a light touch and to think round. You visualise the perfect ball you want and your brain takes care of the rest-perfect every time. Such is the power of visualisation. Humans are goal oriented-we move toward that which we think about. Research has proven that correct mental rehearsal improves results of tasks-remember that next time you face something a little difficult.

Sound freaky and wierd-yip it is, but it works. Try driving through town thinking about red lights-you'll hit ever stupid one. But think green...

Ever woken up and thought that you'll have a bad day-guess what-yup, better curl up again. Ever had your day go exactly how ou planned it-bet you it happens more often than not. So spend a little time planning your day in the morning, imagine what it will be like, then go out and flow into it.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Will stay away from diatribe about Zimbabwe today-or I’ll just get all angry and irritated.

Got a rejection letter from a literary agent this week. Was a little surprised by my response which was basically an ‘oh well, move on to the next one on the list’. It could have sidelined me, made me give up and bin my manuscript. Instead I went home and worked on my second. Why did I not take it badly? I guess it’s because my vision in this area is so strong. I have a firm picture in my mind and it’s stronger than the image of failure. I know I will publish successfully (that includes selling the book-I don’t plan on self publishing and never selling a copy, that would be stupid). That image helps me ride through the temporary setbacks. J.K. Rowling had multiple rejections before publishing her first book, and now the entire (ok almost) world is waiting with baited breath for the final instalment of the ‘Harry Potter’ series. While I make no claims to be as good a writer, or to follow the same path of success, it gives hope.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Ok so I succumbed, I joined Facebook. Just one too many positive feedbacks and requests. So go ahead, look me up.


Action=reaction, simple equation really, Newton’s second law (I think). Doesn’t just apply to physical objects either. Take the latest development in the Zimbabwean saga, for example, the government issued a directive last week that all prices of all goods and services should be slashed by 50%. Nice concept, one small problem, shop owners just can’t seem to get their heads round the idea of cutting prices when most input costs are still the same (no-one cut salaries or rent). The consequence is that a number of shelves are now empty as the suppliers are failing to deliver. Action=reaction. Whether there is a further reaction by ‘Joe Public’ and in what form or direction it will take remains to be seen. For now people are content to raid the shelves, occasionally in riotous fashion, of supermarkets complying with the order. Interesting times.

The principle though is sound, for every action there is a consequence, some obviously greater than others. For anyone familiar with the butterfly effect though, even the accumulation of multiple small wing beats can add up to a thunderstorm of devastating magnitude. Of course, the same storm can be deadly to the butterfly that started it.